Leer en Español
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, also known as MTG, (R-GA) has been receiving heavy criticisms from both sides of the aisle due to her recent comments likening vaccination stamps and passports to the suffering of the Jewish people during Nazi rule. The pushback against those outrageous comparisons was swift and quick with MTG excoriated by Republicans (and Democrats, of course) with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both condemning the language of the freshman congresswoman from Georgia.
McConnell, who has previously criticized Greene for her previous comments supporting various conspiracy theories, told reporters that such comments were “reprehensible” and “outrageous” and McCarthy issuing a statement calling the tweet “appalling” and clarifying that the Republican conference “condemns this language”.
The pushback against Greene’s tweet is not coming exclusively from the political leadership of the Congressional GOP, with famous conservative pundit and media figure Ben Shapiro also denouncing Greene’s comments as “demented nonsense” and as “both insulting and insane”.
Greene, who was stripped of all committee duties earlier this year, has remained defiant on her Twitter account. She has not deleted the original post, she then tweeted a 7-tweet-long thread where she blasts the Democrats for the growing antisemitism within their ranks, said she has defended Israel, justified her comments, she then said she was not making any comparisons to the Holocaust, but only to “the discrimination against Jews in early Nazi years”.
Although Greene has been panned by a vast number of her Republican peers in the House (including Dan Crenshaw, Adam Kirzinger, Maria Elvira Salazar, etc.) she has found a reliable ally by her side in the form of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is currently under federal investigation over alleged sex trafficking charges.
The Florida congressman posted a tweet supporting Greene against and saying the attacks against her are false and amplified by the media, while also lamenting that some Republicans have “taken the bait, sadly”. Both members of Congress have engaged in a country-wide speaking tour where they have constantly attacked fellow Republicans who oppose Trump (like Sen. Mitt Romney) while also continuing to argue against the legitimacy of the results of the 2020 presidential election, something Trump has continued to do from his blog.
The recent spat between the leadership of the GOP in the House also comes few weeks after the conference decided to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her leadership position due to her position against the claims by Trump that the 2020 election was stolen from him. It illustrates McCarthy’s difficult job at keeping Republican unity, as he has to retain the support of a largely pro-Trump base while also keeping the more toxic elements of Trumpism out of the spotlight.
This latest rift between the GOP leadership and the controversial Georgia Representative is not a new development. Greene won the Republican primary for Georgia’s 14th congressional district by a wide margin, earning 43,813 votes against her rivals’ 32,982, since GA-14 is a safely Republican seat winning the primary ensured her victory in the general election later in the fall.
However, the first months of her tenure as Representative have been far from rosy for Greene. She was immediately put in the national spotlight for her comments indicating support “Qanon”, a wild conspiracy theory that posited that top government officials were working undercover to massively detain a cabal of Democratic politicians who were involved in sex trafficking.
She was also then accused of engaging in anti-semitic behavior when it was revealed she posted a post on Facebook where she suggested that the California wildfires of 2018 were caused not by nature but by “what looked like laser or blue beams of light”, which were apparently partly funded by the Rothschild family. Besides the absurdity of the claim that lasers caused a wildfire, linking them to the Rothschilds was considered to be anti-semitic, as the family has been widely featured in anti-semitic tropes throughout history.
Her past history followed her all the way up to her office at Capitol Hill, as Democrats first pressured Republicans to oust her of any committee position, and then moved a resolution in the House Floor to strip her from any congressional committee in a vote that was unanimously approved by Democrats and also followed by 11 Republicans.
Most Republicans have now firmly condemned Greene’s outlandish claims and misguided comparisons, however, she will remain to be a political thorn on the GOP’s side as long as she continues to either hold her views or her seat in Congress.
Why? for a very simple reason, MTG gives free ammunition for Democrats to portray the Republican Party as being kidnapped by politicians who hold extreme views and support conspiracy theories, it gives Pelosi and the DNC a great line of attack against the GOP and to distract from extremism in her own side.
The latest controversy is just a perfect example of it, while Democrats struggled to push a rapid and unified response against the rise of antisemitic attacks in the nation, Greene’s appalling comparison of vaccine-related restrictions with the single greatest tragedy in history muddied the message of the GOP against anti-semitism.
Green could be described as the Republican Party’s answer to Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (R-NY), a politician who embodies the worst fears one side has of the other and that serves as a perfect catalyst for Democrats to rally and unite against what they view as a Republican Party that is anathema to their views of America.
Although McCarty can push for punitive measures against the already ostracized member of Congress, like expelling her from Congress, the ultimate decision of whether MTG will continue to be a headache for the Republican leadership will be in the hands of the Republican voters in Georiga.
Daniel is a Political Science and Economics student from the University of South Florida. He worked as a congressional intern to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) from January to May 2020. He also is the head of international analysis at Politiks // Daniel es un estudiante de Cs Políticas y Economía en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida. Trabajo como pasante legislativo para el Representate Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) desde enero hasta mayo del 2020. Daniel también es el jefe de análisis internacional de Politiks.